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  • by Nicola Boulton August 27, 2022 4 min read


    CBD creams have been used for some time to deal with pain. However, one might wonder which is better between CBD oils and CBD creams, considering factors such as dosage and method of use, among other factors.

    With the hype building around CBD, it is no surprise that CBD is gaining demand over the short period it has been around. However, one thing to keep in mind is that research on CBD is still at early levels, and most of what exists is anecdotal. One of the major benefits of CBD is that it helps alleviate pain. CBD can be utilized in many forms, and one of the ways is the use of CBD oil, while the other is the use of creams formulated with CBD. Comparing the two methods here is more information on CBD oil versus CBD cream in dealing with pain.


    CBD Oil

    One of the predominant compounds of hemp plant is, Cannabidiol (CBD). The cannabis derivative is extracted from the stalk and stem of the hemp plant. The extract is often in crystalline or powder form that is later suspended in carrier oil to make CBD oil. CBD can be harnessed from the hemp plant and marijuana, but only CBD obtained from the hemp plant is federally legal. In contrast marijuana and its compounds are still illegal. Lin (2018) noted that marijuana is s a schedule 1 illegal substance. The hemp CBD is legal is because its THC content is lower than 0.3%. Notably, THC, is the psychoactive compound in Cannabis responsible (Volkow et al ,2014). There are three spectrums of CBD, depending on the extraction process:

    Isolate-based CBD Oil    

    This is the purest form of CBD oil as it doesn't contain any other compounds of THC. The beauty of CBD isolates oil is that it maintains its potency even when added to other substances. According to Gibbs (2019), the isolate is flavorless and odorless since it doesn't contain flavonoids and terpenes, which are responsible for the earthy smell and taste. However, with this type of CBD, users don't get to benefit from the entourage effect. 

    Full-spectrum CBD Oil      

    Full-spectrum CBD oil comprises several cannabinoids and compounds of Cannabis, including terpenes, flavonoids, and traces of THC. There is no cause for alarm as these traces of THC are in insignificant amounts of less than 0.3%, so you are not likely to get any feelings of intoxication or highness. Furthermore, trace levels of THC is not likely to appear in a drug test. The full-spectrum CBD is linked to the entourage effect, which states that the use of CBD and other compounds of Cannabis, including THC, are more effective than CBD alone.

    Broad-spectrum CBD Oil

    Broad-spectrum comprises numerous compounds of Cannabis apart from THC. However, users can still benefit from CBD working with other compounds. Broad-spectrum is preferable for those who want to benefit from the other compounds of Cannabis while avoiding THC. 

    CBD Oil for pain   

    Research on CBD is limited. There is no concrete proof to ascertain that CBD oil is a good medication for dealing with pain or inflammation; the fair amounts of studies are anecdotal. Khaleghi (2020) stated that topical CBD could help in reducing arthritis-related pain. Further, CBD oil can suppress jaw pain when used for two weeks. A survey on nerve pain showed that patients reported reduced sensations of both acute and intense nerve pain. Notably, these are reports conducted on a small number of the population and would not make reasonable scientific assumptions. Even so, this doesn't change the fact that CBD is promising, and, with further research, it can change the lives of many. Furthermore, CBD has proved effective from observational studies. Hence, CBD can be a good option to deal with pain when used carefully.

    CBD Oil vs CBD Cream- the Greater Choice

    CBD is consumed in various ways; orally, sublingually, or added to foods or drinks. On the other hand, CBD creams are only applied topically to the affected areas. In contrast, CBD oil is ingested, which may reduce its effectiveness through digestion. Taking CBD sublingually means you will have to bear with its earthy taste. Though it is a personal choice, CBD creams would better deal with pain and external injury than oil.

    CBD Oil vs. Creams: Dosages     

    Measuring the exact dosage in CBD oil is much easier than in creams; you can know the potency of each serving. For instance, tinctures come with eye droppers, so it is easier to measure the CBD oil dosage whether the tinctures are calibrated or not. On the other hand, CBD creams have no dosage as the criteria for use is applying as much as possible until the user achieves desired effects. Measuring dosage on creams is practically impossible. 

    Best CBD for pain

    Shopping for CBD products is not a walk in the park, especially for beginners. The industry is filled with numerous brands, and selection might be challenging. There is also the possibility of misinformation, improper labeling on products, and substandard products. The best CBD products are preferably from reputable brands. In addition, check for third-party testing for proof of quality. Lastly, consult your doctor before settling on a CBD product for pain



     Research on CBD products for pain is anecdotal. However, observational results show that CBD is effective for different pain types, from localized to neuropathic pain. The products exist in various forms, including but not limited to edibles, topicals, and vapes. While topical products like creams are essential for localized pain, they are not easy to dose. In contrast, CBD oils are consumed in varieties that mask the earthy taste of CBD. CBD products have little to zero side effects when used properly. However, the products could have mild side effects avoidable through proper dosage. Users should seek medical advice before replacing CBD with pharmacological pain drugs.


    Gibbs, B., Yates, D. A., & Liebling, J. (2019). CBD in the UK. London, UK: Centre for Medicinal Cannabis.

    Khaleghi, M. (2020). New arthritis foundation guidelines on CBD use could be first of many more to come. Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 26, 8-11.


    Volkow, N. D., Baler, R. D., Compton, W. M., & Weiss, S. R. (2014). Adverse health effects of marijuana use. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(23), 2219-2227.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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